On Wednesday, September 9th, in science class at the Junior High School, we had some local professionals who work as a police dispatcher and E.M.T. but also have a great love of snakes. They taught the students about snakes and they were allowed to pet and hold them. One thing that people always mix up is by calling snake poisonous which they are not.
The snakes brought in were called constrictors. Bald Python, Red tailed Boa, Albino Boa were some of the snakes brought in. Constriction is a method used by various snake species to kill their prey. Although some species of venomous and mildly venomous snakes do use constriction to subdue their prey, most snakes which use constriction lack venom. The snake initially strikes at its prey and holds on, pulling the prey into its coils or, in the case of very large prey, pulling itself onto the prey. The snake will then wrap one or two coils around the prey. The snakes then monitor the prey's heart beart to ascertain when it's dead. Contrary to myth, the snake does not crush the prey, or even break its bones. It is generally accepted that snakes hold tightly enough to prevent the prey from drawing air into its lungs, resulting in death from asphyxia. It has also been suggested that the pressure of constriction causes a rise in the pressure in the prey's body cavity greater than the heart can counter, resulting in immediate cardiac arrest. This new hypothesis has yet to be confirmed, but data indicates that snakes can exert enough pressure for this mechanism to be plausible.
Did you know that most so-called poisonous snakes aren't poisonous at all, but actually venomous?
"Poisonous" describes a plant, animal, or anything else that is toxic or harmful if you eat it or touch it. "Venomous," on the other hand, refers to animals that inject a toxin directly into their prey to subdue them, or in self-defense against a predator. Venoms, produced by some animals in specialized glands, are injected into prey by biting, stabbing, or stinging. For example, a rattlesnake bite is venomous and sometimes lethal, but you can touch, and even eat rattlesnakes without ill-effects because they are not poisonous.
The Dart Poison Frogs in Central and South America are a good example of a poisonous animal. They are toxic if you ingest even a tiny bit of the secretions from their skin. In fact most amphibians have poison-secreting glands in their skin that make them unpalatable or even deadly to predators. The Dart Poison Frogs and some salamanders are among the most poisonous animals in the world. Many animals don't produce their own poisons, but have evolved the capacity to ingest toxic plants or animals and store those toxins in their own bodies, which makes them poisonous to other predators.
The following pictures show some of the many of the Ambridge Junior High 8th grade honors science “Bacteria Wanted posters during their section on viruses. Their mission was to investigate a bacterial pathogens for the “Bacterial Pathogen Unit” of the AASD. During this project, they were to investigate one harmful bacterial pathogen and produce a "Wanted Poster" to educate the Ambridge Area community.
The following pictures show the Ambridge Junior High 8th grade science students with many of the cell projects, some which are edible during their chapter on cells in preparation for Keystone Biology in 9th grade next year.
The following pictures show the Ambridge Junior High 7th & 8th grade honors science students during their S.T.E.M. day at Economy Elementary. Junior High students will the aid of the Junior high science department of Mrs. Mawhinney, Mr. Olenic and Mr. Ayers. will research and develop STEM lessons aligned with AASD curriculum and STEM Standards of Practice across disciplines to provide STEM Education for all third grade Economy Elementary students and students that participate in the program from the Junior High. A huge thanks go out to the 3rd grade teachers, Mrs. Anoline, Mrs. Marvin, Mrs. Burgoyne and Mrs. Jacquel. Also the Economy and Junior Principals, Mrs. Galitsis, Mr. Amadio, and Ms. Zupsic.
The following pictures show the Ambridge Junior High 7th grade honors science students during their K-NEX competition preparation and competition day at Penn State Beaver. The STEM Design Challenge encourages students to work as a 4 person team to answer a challenge. Teams had from November until may to create a project using K’NEX, answer narrative questions, create a blueprint and produce a short presentation. Mr. Olenic, Mr. Roos, and Mr. Ayers were the sponsors for this competition.
Many of us associate Spring with flowers and warmer weather but, Spring is also maple syrup season. Mrs. Colorito and her students have taken on the task of making maple syrup. They are using this activity to make a real life connection and application in science, social studies, math and family and consumer science. The students have learned how to identify the tree, tap a tree for its sap and monitor and measure sap collection the last step will be to boil the sap to make syrup. Mrs. Colorito and her students are looking forward to tasting the end result and making this a new spring time tradition.
A group of 8th grade students from the junior high had the opportunity to visit the Beaver County Career and Technology Center (BCCTC) to explore options regarding their future plans for high school and beyond. Students were taken on a tour to preview the large variety of programs that are offered to 10th, 11th, and 12th graders. Some of these courses include nursing, cosmetology, veterinary assistant, welding, and H-VAC, among many others. This tour provided these students with a glimpse of potential career opportunities they can prepare for while still in high school. The students gave feedback and resounding approval of the experience making statements such as, “I can’t wait until I can sign up” and, “This looks like so much fun!” It was encouraging and inspiring to see how excited these students were to begin preparing for their futures. Special thanks go out to Mrs. Bober and Ms. Scaletta for chaperoning and orchestrating this awesome opportunity, Mrs. Colorito and Mrs. Crawford for volunteering as additional chaperones, and to the BCCTC for being such gracious hosts!